Lutherans for Life, an educational pro-life organization, has made a statement regarding Thrivent’s recent removal of pro-life organizations from it’s giving programs. Lutherans for Life was among those organizations defunded. The statement is not yet posted on LFL’s website, but permission has been granted to publish it here.
Because human life is created in the image of God as proclaimed throughout scripture (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6; Psalm 8:5, Colossians 3:10), and because every human being is someone for whom Christ died to restore the image of God, the sanctity of human life is a basic Lutheran/Christian value. Martin Luther strongly condemned abortion: “Those who have no regard for pregnant women and who do not spare the tender fruit are murderers and infanticides.” (Plass: What Luther Says, entry no. 2826, p. 905, Concordia, St. Louis, 1959).
Lutherans for Life is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Lutheran ministry that defends the sanctity of human life, including the life of the unborn child. We believe abortion and certain other practices are fundamentally inconsistent with the Lutheran belief in the sanctity of human life.
We appreciate the generosity of Thrivent in funding many Lutheran projects and causes. We regret that Thrivent has recently allowed a local chapter to fund Planned Parenthood, an organization that commits more abortions than any other organization in the nation and engages in many other practices that are inconsistent with the Lutheran commitment to the sanctity of life.
We further regret that Thrivent, after receiving complaints from Lutheran leaders about the funding of Planned Parenthood, has worsened the situation by suspending the funding of over 50 pro-life ministries and organizations. In monetary terms, this has cost pro-life organizations far more than it has cost pro-abortion organizations. Even worse, Thrivent’s 6 February 2014 statement on its “Neutrality Policy” indicates that Thrivent has made this temporary suspension its permanent policy, and has applied this policy to Thrivent Choice, Care Abounds in Communities, Thrivent Action Teams, Thrivent Communities, Thrivent Gift Multiplier, Thrivent Volunteers, Employee Giving Campaign and the Thrivent Financial Foundation.
It appears that Thrivent believes “neutrality” is treating pro-life and pro-abortion groups on an equal basis. But they should not be treated on an equal basis, because:
(1) Lutherans for Life is a Lutheran organization , has RSO status with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and works with many other Lutheran synods and associations; Planned Parenthood is not Lutheran or even Christian.
(2) The efforts of Lutherans for Life and other pro-life organizations are consistent with the Lutheran commitment to the sanctity of life; Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion practices and policies are utterly contrary to the Lutheran commitment to the sanctity of life.
(3) The suspension of grants to pro-life and pro-abortion organizations does not impact both sides equally, because it suspends funding for over fifty pro-life organizations and only one pro-abortion organization.
We therefore hope and pray that Thrivent will reconsider its action and reinstate those pro-life organizations for which Thrivent has stopped funding. We call upon Christians to pray that Thrivent will correct this policy, to call the Thrivent office and local Thrivent agents to express concern for this policy, and to increase their support for life-affirming ministries that have been affected by this policy.